Spearmint Luau

Spearamint Luau

Because the colours of this manicure are spearminty (also sort of pepperminty) and the little leaves make my ring finger and thumb look like they’re wearing teeny grass skirts. Aloha!

Mixed messages aside, these nails represent my entry in the third, long since past week of the January N.A.I.L. Challenge for the theme of opposites. The aim was to do something unusual, maybe a technique you’ve rarely tried or a colour you’ve never used, step outside your comfort zone a bit and hopefully discover a fun new nail art trick in the process.

With that in mind, I thought a mani studded with fimo cut-outs would apply, as I dislike the feel of “stuff” on my nails and therefore rarely use anything like studs or flowers or little spearmint leaves that actually look more like grass skirts!

Here I tacked a few fimo leaves (which really aren’t so bad after all) onto a manicure featuring two of my favourite polishes, Emily de Molly’s gorgeous teal glitter, Monet’s Garden, and Picture Polish’s perfect golden raspberry, Electric Dream.

Oh, Cookie, Cookie, Cookie!

Oh, Cookie, Cookie, Cookie!

My husband has been nattering at me – sweetly, but persistently – for days to make my super awesome, sweet and salty chocolate chip cookies. I finally gave in today, only to discover that the brown sugar had solidified into a crystalline log. Once I got that sorted out (through the power of the almighty Brown Sugar Bear) I got lax with the vanilla and added, oh, about 20 times more than I had intended. Then I discovered that the only chocolate chips I had in the house were of the milk chocolate variety, which, I mean, it’s still chocolate, but also yuck? Finally, I decided tonight would be the perfect opportunity to try out the convection feature on my new-ish oven, and owing to some combination of wonky brown sugar, excessive vanilla and not knowing a damn thing about the convection feature on my new-ish oven, the cookies browned nearly to the point of burning. And yes, I get that these are all trivial matters, as there’s still cookies to be had, but that seems like an excessive amount of screwing up for one recipe, no? I’ve actually been told that I’m good at making them, too, which makes this whole wicked scene that much more aggravating.

Less aggravating and easier to accomplish? These nails, which came together so much better than the actual cookies that inspired them. And all of it overseen by the Grand Master of Cookies himself, Cookie Monster!

Edit: My husband just ate one, nodded and said, “Good!” But this is a man that eats peanut butter on veggie burgers, so let’s not listen to him on any matters pertaining to food or taste buds, okay?

Wishful Thinking

Wishful Thinking

About two seconds after I finished this manicure, a coral tone-on-tone-on-glittery flower design, I recognized it for what it truly was – a rather bald and desperate wish for better weather.

I’m Canadian, and ruminations on the crapass weather we’re presently dealing with are just what we do – “Cold enough out there for ya?” – but even I’ve reached my limit, and that’s because the bad winter weather just WILL NOT let up! One day it snows, the next day it freezes rain. And if it’s not snowing, it’s bitterly, bitterly cold. If the temperatures stay above -20 these days, that’s considered a decent reprieve from the frost-covered madness.

No doubt, we could all use a real break from the Winter That Won’t End, and while a beachside vacation awash in rum-based cocktails would be best, sometimes circumstances dictate you go for the less-is-more approach, which is where these nails come in! So brush the snow off your hottest hued polishes, scrape the frost from your detail brushes and dotting tools and get to work on a little lacquered pick-me-up that’ll hopefully convince you that spring is just around the corner. And if it can’t do that, well, at least your nails will look fly.

Gettin’ Crafty With It: Sweet Weege

Gettin' Crafty With It: Sweet Weege

I actually made this glitter topper, an ultimately quite Valentiney mix of matte white, brown, gold, rose holo and pink heart glitters, with my cat Weegie in mind. She’s a cute little brown and orange and black striped thing, what one might uncharitably – but accurately – consider your standard issue barn cat, and she looks absolutely nothing like this glitter! So I couldn’t tell you how on earth this polish came about if it was based on my tubby little sweetie, but it’s here now and I love it, naming inconsistencies and all!

Here I layered two light coats of Sweet Weege over top of a couple of cream-on-pink and pink-on-brown gradients. The result is a very festive manicure that reminds me not one bit of my cat, but very much of chocolate cherries (which, yuck – fruit and chocolate together seems like a concept I should like, but I JUST CAN’T. I’d sooner eat this bottle of polish.)

Bubble Yum

Bubble Yum

I posted a manicure the other day featuring this polish, I Lost My Marbles from Polish Me Silly, with a big, wonky-looking heart on my middle finger. It was a little messy and didn’t turn out quite as I had planned, and in the span of 12 hours, seven of which I was asleep, my mis-mani managed to drive me SO bonkers, I had no choice but to blight it from the face of the earth, delete the post and start over again. What? I can’t be the only one!

On reflection, however, this polish is so pretty on its own – like bubblegum ice cream! – adding nail art seems a bit like overkill, so I’m leaving it au naturale.

Not Your Average Fun and Games

Not Your Average Fun and Games

In both Jeopardy-ese and Scrabblish, what’s the 10-point answer to “Where the heck have you been for the last two weeks?” Sick! Yes, indeed, I have been sick – dreadfully, wretchedly, “I’m so exhausted and over-medicated I can barely account for three of the past five days” sick. I blame the first January N.A.I.L. Challenge theme, of course, as it made me contemplate my own health and wellness so much, I jinxed myself into a two-week-long coughing fit I’m only really coming out of now. Okay, so I don’t remotely blame the challenge 😉 but I do blame myself for missing the second week’s theme, even if I did feel like the dog’s breakfast. I just couldn’t motivate in the direction of either my blog or my toolkit of polished goodies – it all felt like just too much work.

So I’m coming at the second week’s theme (inspired by Pinterest) a touch late, but slow and steady…takes more Tylenol Cold and Flu and falls into a five-hour stupor, if the past two weeks have been any indication!

One of my favourite nail bloggers is Alice from One Nail to Rule Them All, and one of her most popular designs – and a favourite of mine – is a Scrabble tile design spelling out the word “Love.” Her work is impeccable – highly detailed and so tidy! That might seem like an odd thing to get fussy about, but when you really get down to it, presentation is very nearly everything with nail art, isn’t it?

So here’s my interpretation of Alice’s loved up Scrabble nails, although I chose to keep it more in line with my state of mind – and health – of late. You polish that which you know, right? 😉

Making New Friends

Making New Friends

I think it’s safe to say that in life – and more specifically in nail polish-related commerce – we all occasionally buy something with the best of intentions that simply. doesn’t. work. Oh sure, it promises us the moon, the stars and everything in between, but in practice it just ain’t happening (I’m looking at you, magnetic nail polish; you’re just weird.)

So imagine my total delight when I cracked open a new-to-me product, Incoco nail polish strips, hoping for the best, sort of expecting the worst, and being TOTALLY MISTAKEN.

Because friends, these things are fabulous! Made of real nail polish and offered in about 150 different designs and colours, these nail strips are not only gorgeous, but also dead easy to use. Absolute polish newbies would have no problem whatsoever wrangling these babies, as they’re little more than peel and stick (and stand back to admire!)

And the finish? Outstanding. The set I’m sporting in this photo, Galactic Glitz, look heavily textured, but they’re smooth as silk, no top coat necessary. And while I regrettably won’t be able to speak to their durability and longevity (two weeks, supposedly), as time waits for no nail blogger, I’ll point out that I’ve washed my hands about 10 times since applying them (flu season, you know) and they still look perfect. Removal is likewise easy – I goofed on my pinkie and had to reapply a strip (not as economically devastating as you’d think, as there’s 16 to a pack) and it came right off with regular remover.

Now, isn’t it nice when something works out just so? 🙂 Colour me terrifically impressed; these nail polish strips are definitely a do-over. If you’d like to check out Incoco’s offerings (including some adorable Valentine’s designs) you can find them here. Bet you can’t buy just one! Heavens knows I couldn’t.



Continuing my streak of manis featuring Polish Me Silly polishes (guess who got her post-Christmas nail mail today?) this manicure features a fun neon glitter topper by the name of Freckles and the third nail art design I ever attempted, the almighty fluffy cupcake!

The indie polish market is flooded with neon glitter toppers, most of them quite similar, but Freckles is a standout – with its mix of fine matte glitter and ultra even coverage, it gives an almost dainty look to your nails, a word not normally found in the same sentence as either “neon” or “glitter”!

Note: I feel the somewhat unnecessary (but it’s nagging me, so I’ll do it) need to point out that I’m not affiliated with Polish Me Silly in any way, just a new and very impressed customer trying out her lovely goodies. Although it is rather outstanding that they went four for four in one order – not a dud in the bunch, and that’s a bit of a rarity. Plus, it’s always nice to acknowledge the good work of a company – particularly a small one – that has their act together.

Tequila Sunrise

Tequila Sunrise

Here we have another thermal colour-changing polish from the ladies at Polish Me Silly, Peach Me a Lesson, a fun Barbie pink-to-coral lacquer studded with hot pink and orange glitter. The two colours together remind me of a not-to-be-trifled with cocktail called a Tequila Sunrise, one of those unholy alcoholic concoctions that’s 50 percent tequila, 40 percent sugar and 10 percent pure hangover-producing misery. Still, a pretty polish on my nails, and probably less toxic than the cocktail, too! To the left is Peach Me a Lesson in its “warm” state and on the right is the polish after running my hands under cold water.

I’ve no doubt that the natural gradient effect of thermal colour changers is about 100 times cooler and more prominent on nails longer than mine, but take heart, like-nailed ladies who like to keep ’em short, these polishes are still pretty great; if you’re anything like me, you’ll have a hard time keeping your eyes off your nails!